Economy

Economy

Here are the numbers for Alaskans’ annual fall rite: Moose hunting

The fall moose hunt is a time-honored Alaska tradition, but how much meat does the annual rite put in the freezer? And how much money is spent? Ned Rozell, science writer at the University of Alaska Fairbanks’ Geophysical Institute, cites studies showing that 29,000 Alaskans and nonresidents harvest about 7,200 moose yearly, and assuming each of these 1,600-pound animals yields 700 pounds of sliced and wrapped meat, totaling about 3.5 million pounds. Surveys show 90 percent of rural households surveyed put moose on the table, and hunters overall, rural and nonrural, spend about $79 million on the annual moose hunt, much of that for gasoline for trucks, four-wheelers and riverboats. Rozell credits UAF master’s student Tessa Hasbrouck for the results, which are in her thesis.

Meanwhile, how much forage do moose need to get through a winter? Rozell cites Tom Seaton of the state fish and game department for an estimate that moose need about 30 pounds a day of live frozen twigs. Other tidbits: There are about 175,000 moose in the state, and about 23 percent of hunters actually get an animal.

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